Globe Works – The Colourful History of our Home
Company Secretary Daphne Butler has delved into the archives and explored the history of offices at Globe Works. From its build in 1895 to its use today as offices, the colourful history of a remarkable building is all here….
Globe Works is a building with attitude; it has history; is well-connected; and has always embraced new trends and technology. It stands four-square to the weather, in Cheshire, on Hospital Street, the east road to Manchester and London from Nantwich. Constructed out of brick in 1895, Globe Works was a state-of-the-art factory for the tanning industry which along with salt production had long been fundamental to local prosperity, but times and technology change, leather tanning dwindled, and Globe Works fairly soon was re-utilised as a warehouse for animal feed. Thus it remained until the 1970s when it was abandoned, became derelict, a ‘brownfield’ site, dangerous, fenced off; a blot on the genteel townscape.
Probably it would have all ended there, but in 1981 Crewe and Nantwich Council, with some relief, approved the plans of a local businessman with an eye for a bargain, to rescue the shell and restore it as Globe House, a five-bedroom home for his family plus an adjacent workshop for his repro furniture business. A ‘grand design’ that was an eco-friendly mix of reclaimed materials, original features and modern amenities including, in addition to central heating and double glazing, a heat-exchange system, an indoor swimming pool, a billiard room and a music theatre. Pool parties and music sessions became a source of notorious gossip.
Attracted by this trendy life-style, a local dentist put in an un-refusable offer for the property which was promptly accepted. But the odour of chlorine proved too much for his wife; the swimming pool was filled-in, and the heat-exchange system abandoned. The dentist experienced a professional hiatus, and another dentistry team took over, living in the main house and converting the one-time workshop into a modern surgery. The business grew to enjoy a very respectable reputation around the town.
Arthritis in the thumb joints (bad news for a dentist) forced early retirement, and so it was that in August 1991 John and Daphne Butler moved into Globe House complete with two teenage children, two large hounds, one Siamese cat, and a live-in Granny. They had come from ‘down south’ escaping to the country long before the notion became a gleam in a TV producer’s eye.
An out-sourced job turned into Globe Enterprises, and in 1996 the resulting IT business, Atlas Business, began trading with offices in the now updated and refurbished former workshop. Atlas grew tentatively but steadily. Cat-5 cabling networked Globe House, fibre-optics connected it to the Internet. In 2001, a data centre was added just 4 miles away in the ‘Secret Nuclear Bunker’ at Hack Green – a new venture – what we might now call ‘cloud computing’.
By 2003 Atlas had out-grown its accommodation and moved out.
Seven years later, like the prodigal son, Atlas returned, now considerably bigger and stronger, to occupy the whole site, with space to spare for growth. ‘Globe Works’ etched high onto the south wall was re-adopted; an up-front Victorian building with modern high-speed links extending around the globe; a fitting and poignant location for a 21st century IT company.